Christian Fear is the Fear of God

There is understandable disappointment and even unrest at the recent approval of the national health care reform legislation. But what is a Christian to think of this? What is the Christian response?

In recent days I have heard some responses that seem to exemplify faith in the sovereign Lord but I have also heard others that seem to resemble a reactionary kind of panic that is more becoming of the world. This should not, and need not, be. In all of our responses, the Christian Church ought to have passion but not panic and sobriety but not despair. God teaches us an understanding of himself that will require no less than this. Scripture confidently says:

“All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to his will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and no one can ward off his hand or say to him, ‘What have you done?'” (Dan. 4:35)

Would Jesus be jostled by shady politics or corrupt government? Surely he would not. Consider the admonition of Christ himself:

“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear him who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will not fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” (Matt. 10:28:31)

 The great strength of our faith is built on the unshakable foundation of our relationship to God himself. He is both Creator and Lord. He is Redeemer and Judge of all the earth. Whether in life or in death, nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

It is good to be reminded that none of the biblical heroes picked the times and circumstances in which they lived. Whether Enoch or Noah, Abraham or Rahab, Daniel or Esther, all were chosen by God for exactly the time and place that God had them. And Christian, it is just as true for you. God has chosen you for such a time as this. You are both a solar panel and a mirror. You have been irradiated with the divine glory of the Son and are now a reflector of that glory. Whether in peace or in persecution, God’s design is that the world would look on your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Russell Moore made a helpful post on this topic that I would encourage you to read and be both challenged and strengthened by:

Is it a problem that some of us who are tranquil as still water about biblical doctrine and ecclesial mission are red-faced about Nancy Pelosi and the talking heads on MSNBC?

Is it a problem that some who haven’t shared the gospel with their neighbors in months or years are motivated to vent to strangers on the street about how scary national health care will be?

He continues:

If we were half as outraged by our own sin and self-deception as we are by the follies of our political opponents, what would be the result?

If we rejoiced as much that our names are written in heaven as we do about such trivialities as basketball brackets, what would be the result?

So if what you’re afraid of is a politician or a policy or a culture or the future of Western civilization, don’t give up the conviction but give up the fear.

Work for justice.

Oppose evil.

But do it so that your opponents will see not fear but trust, optimism, and affection.

Read the whole thing, and pass it along.

HT: Justin Taylor

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